[Epoch Times, May 26, 2022](The Epoch Times reporter Di Rui compiled and reported) Scientists know that the Earth’s auroras are a phenomenon produced by the interaction of the solar wind and the magnetic field, and have seen similar phenomena on other celestial bodies, such as Mercury, Some of Jupiter’s moons, comets, and even Mars.
Mars doesn’t have a magnetic field that covers the globe as it does on Earth, so why does aurora occur? Scientists have not known why for years. A new study sheds light on the likely cause of the auroras on Mars.
Scientists believe that when Mars was young, it once had a global magnetic field like Earth, but then this magnetic field gradually weakened and now almost disappears. However, there are some regional, small-scale magnetic fields in the crust of Mars’ southern hemisphere. The new study suggests that these small-scale magnetic fields interact with the solar wind to create discrete auroras on Mars.
“We are the first to study in detail the effects of the solar wind on the auroras on Mars,” said Zachary Girazian, one of the principal investigators in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at The University of Iowa. ”
“Our main finding is that the frequency of auroras depends on the orientation of the solar wind and the magnetic field in regions with strong crustal magnetic fields; outside the regions with strong magnetic fields, the frequency of auroras depends on the dynamic pressure of the solar wind.”
The researchers analyzed more than 200 discrete auroras collected by the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN). MAVEN, a space probe launched by NASA in 2013, was the first spacecraft to provide data on Mars’ auroras.
The researchers found that most of the auroras on Mars occur in the southern hemisphere, and they believe that some interaction between the solar wind and a localized area produces the auroral phenomenon.
“These are very fruitful and exciting times to study the aurora on Mars,” Gilazian said in a press release. “The data from MAVEN is the first of its kind and helps us understand the basics of auroras for the first time.” characteristics.”
The research was published March 27 in the journal JGR Space Physics. ◇#
Responsible editor: Ye Ziwei